The great state of Utah requires an equitable division of marital property between two hearts that no longer beat as one. What the state determines as equitable may not always be equal. Courts instead look for what is fair. Many factors go into such a decision including the length of the marriage, the age and health of the husband and wife, job status as well as the amounts and sources of income.

Long-term marriages that end in divorce in the Beehive State are more likely to see an even split of all property. If the marriage was a short, a judge may decide it prudent to return the two parties back to their respective pre-marriage financial situations.

The courts recognize five different types of assets or marital property when determining what to divide. Non-marital property either refers to assets obtained by one party before the marriage or a gift or inheritance accepted during the union. Premarital agreements are terms and conditions agreed upon by both parties before the marriage took place. Real property is land and anything permanently attached to it. If land was purchased during the marriage, it is generally considered to be marital property regardless of whose name is on the deed. Personal property is considered anything that can be moved such as cars, furniture and jewelry. Typically, this is divided to allow each party the ability to set up a separate home. Finally, retirement or pension benefits are awarded to the spouse who contributes to the retirement or pension plan.

Property division can be one of the most contentious aspects of divorce. A divorce lawyer could possibly help a client rebuild a new life after a split by helping determine the value put into the union and what is deserved in its aftermath.

Source: utcourts.gov, “How property is divided in a divorce“, September 21, 2014

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